I am not fond of the new favorite term on weather sites: Wintery Mix. It seems to encompass the absolute worst of winter - sleet, hail, freezing rain which it tops off with blowing snow. I hate the term blowing snow. Frankly, I think it is a cop out. What they mean is blizzard but they do not want to panic us because blizzard brings back the PTSD from the winter of 2006. I have a friend who suffered a crisis during that three day storm that delivered six feet of snow which didn't melt until May. I believe it finally just wore out from being blown around into new configurations, but I digress. She heard it was going to be a bad winter this year and she listed her house for sale. I tried to explain nothing sells here in the winter.
In fact, nobody moves in the winter. Which gives me nightmares because my tenants are doing what nobody here does. And they are doing it late enough I worry about all their shit on my property getting snowed under and frozen to the ground. That happened to me with three cords of wood the winter of 2006 before I built my wood shed. Good news is I had my firewood for the winter of 2007.
But the winter of 2006 was the exception to the rule (oh let us hope and pray), and I was talking normal winter terms I loathe. Subzero is one which got added to my list last December. We normally have about ten days of subzero temps and usually in December but unfortunately back to back. But last winter I think we had 31 such days and nights which broke all sorts of records. One record was -33 degrees. Basically the last few winters have proven there is no normal. Take the January thaw, which here in New Mexico generally lasts about two weeks. Nice balmy weather which panics the ski areas because they fear an early spring. Certainly looked possible last year when January thaw continued into March. Had all of us locals actually praying for snow so we would have no forest fires come real spring.
|No room for sitting|
Depth of snow is not so much a problem as how it falls. I want it moist so it will melt easily. All snow storms should be followed by three or more days of wonderful sunny weather to speed along that melt. Definitely no wind until the snow has melted in all spots which get sun. And it must be highly photogenic. I have studied this and 1 to 6 inches is best. We get about 210 inches a season here but it is very doable at 6 inches at a time.
Back to those winter words I loathe - Gale force winds. I left Denver because of winter winds. And Texas because of summer winds. And every place I have lived in the midwest because of twisted winds. i.e. tornadoes. Wind when it involves powder snow of great depth is not nice. I really got to study drift theory. The county road maintenance crew went from plows to front end loaders, and at one point I thought I could build a winter garage by putting boards from the top of one snow pile to the top of the other on the opposite side of my drive. Yes, winter of 2006.
Hazardous Weather Outlook brings terror to my mind. It means lots of snow, cold temps and gale force winds. All together. I could go all winter without having to read those words, in red, on my NOAA forecast.
I want my snow picture perfect like it always seemed to be when I was young.
What are your favorite weather forecast words for winter?